The Wider World

2 nations interfere with election

VLADIMIR PUTIN, president of Russia. That nation, and Iran are accused of interference in the U.S presidential election (Shutterstock).

Iran and Russia are trying to intervene in the 2020 presidential election, according to U.S. intelligence officials.  Both nations are using a variety of methods to try to influence voters, some of them toward re-electing Donald Trump. According to the Associated Press, John Radcliffe, the nation’s leading intelligence officer, said, “These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries.” FBI Director Chris Wray concurred, stating that the nations that sought to interfere with the election would be punished and “You should be confident that your vote counts.”

The latest such attempt came when some voters received e-mails – supposedly from the far right-wing Proud Boys group – that if that person voted for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, “we will come after you.”  It was unclear whether those messages were intended to intimidate voters or discredit Trump.

In other election-related news:

  • A Maryland man has been charged by federal officials with threatening to kidnap and kill Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris. James Dale Reed, 42, was arrested after leaving a handwritten note on the doorstep of a Biden supporter in Frederick, Maryland, according to USA Today.
  •’s average of recent presidential polls shows Biden with the support of 50.6 percent of voters, compared to 43.1 percent for Trump, a margin of 7.5 percent.’s average shows Biden with 52.1 percent compared to 42.2 percent for Trump, a margin of 9.9 percent. Both surveys suggest a slight tightening of the race.

The News: Vaccines on the way by end of year?

“One or two safe and effective” coronavirus vaccines could be available by the end of 2020, announced Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday. The first doses will go to the most vulnerable – such as seniors, health care workers and first responders – with doses available to the general public by the end of March. •  Fears that a coronavirus stimulus package might not be passed by Congress before Election Day sent stock prices down on Wednesday. All three major exchanges saw downturns. The Dow declined by 97.97 points, the S&P 500 fell by 7.56 points and Nasdaq dropped by 31.80 points. •  The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday that Alabama could ban curbside voting. The decision was opposed by the court’s three liberal justices.  The ruling overturns an action by a federal appeals court. • Pope Francis approves of same sex civil unions, becoming the first leader of the Catholic Church to take that stand. His comments came in a documentary film. He said, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Weather:  Get your sweaters ready, friends

Temperatures in the West Orange County area continue to cool this week. The skies will be cloudy and highs will travel through the 70s toward the 60s. Thursday’s high is forecast by the National Weather Service to be 74, with an overnight low of 61. Friday will see a high of 73 (61 overnight). Saturday has a 20 percent chance of showers and a high of 70 (58 overnight). By Sunday, the temp is expected to decline to 69 degrees (54 overnight). Along the coast, highs will range from 72 on Thursday to 65 on Saturday and Sunday, with overnight lows in the 50s.

Sports Today: Dodgers vs. Rays in Game Two

Brandon Lowe hit two home runs and had three RBIs as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 Wednesday evening and squared the World Series at one game each  The Rays built a 5-0 lead and hung on to stave off late Dodger rallies. LA got three home runs, one each from Corey Seager, Will Smith and Chris Taylor. Game Three will be played on Friday at 5:08 Pacific time.

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